https://www.nangmagazine.com/buy/single-issues/issue-3

My latest story, Beautiful Mother, can be read in Nang Magazine 3.

https://www.nangmagazine.com/issues/3

 

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Link  —  Posted: October 2, 2017 in Scribble
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A poster full of horrors

My littlest fan.

https://knighterrantpress.com/2017/03/14/f-m-or-other-quarrels-with-the-gender-binary/

Image  —  Posted: June 9, 2017 in Fiddle, Scribble
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I didn’t realize it was 10 years later that I wrote to another one of my favorite authors. It was none other than the master of suspense himself, Sidney Sheldon. As usual, being 32 without having much success of getting to see my book in print was not very encouraging. I kept thinking to myself that I must be doing something wrong. The publishing opportunities in Malaysia was still very slim so I tried sending my works out to the US and other countries but there was nothing but rejection letters. I even sought out literary agents but with just a messy compilation of short horror stories (which was known as Bedtime stories from under my bed then) and a mystery suspense horror manuscript entitled Something about the Moon, they just weren’t good enough to land any deals.

Again, I needed some kind of approval to know that I was publishable or at least I had some writing skills. If you notice the change in my name it was also about this time I was going through my own transitional period with religion, identity, career, and a whole lot of questions about where I was going with this life.

It would take another 16 years before I am finally published for the first time by MPH. My first book Bedtime Stories from the Dead of Night finally saw the light of day after years of getting stuck in a publishing limbo.

The advice about not leaving your day job while pursuing a writing career only made sense to me when I was older. And the all time favorite advice to write, write, and write is the only way for any aspiring writers to go. With all the ups and downs, doubts and self-deprecation, disappointments and lonely nights, writing is a pilgrimage and an adventure. It may seem like an impossible dream at times but no matter how long it takes, it is well worth the journey.

It took me a long time to get published because things were different back then in Malaysia. There were very few publishers who would take on works by local writers and generally they preferred nonfiction to fiction. Unlike what writers can do today writers from the pre-internet days had very few options. It was either self publishing, which cost a bomb, or … wait a minute, there is no ‘or’.

There were no local writers I could ask or talk to about pursuing creative writing not only as a career but as my entire lifestyle. Like any other young and emerging writers, I needed some kind of approval or sign to let me know that it was okay to be a writer. That I was not fooling myself with my head in the clouds. That I would be able to get by. That I could cheat death and survive the writing world. With only western world writers to look up to, without hesitation or doubt I wrote to Stephen King. I was 22, I was a little desperate, and I wasn’t expecting a reply. But lo and behold, Stephen King sent me a standard form respond card and some photocopied articles. I mean, who does that? The King of course.

This small act of acknowledgment has taken me a long long way to be where I am today. It may seem like a negligible matter, but to one who has always loved writing with the hope of getting published some day, it meant the world to me.

Image  —  Posted: May 7, 2017 in Scribble
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